Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Continuing with the divination posts my wife has asked me to write an article for her. I am not as accomplished a writer as she so here goes.

Astraglomancy, also known as astragyromancy or cleromancy is the art of divination using dice. The first recorded use of what we know as modern dice was around 1400 B.C. by the egyptians, which is unsurprising as they seem to have invented most really important things back then. Although I can't find any references to the egyptians using dice for divination, there are records of the romans, greeks, and tibetans using various forms of this method as far back as 400 B.C. The Shona people of Africa have used a form of dice divination for thousands of years and still do to this day.

The earliest forms of astraglomancy were conducted using the knucklebones of quadraped animals such as sheep. Symbols were painted on each of the 4 sides and meanings taken from the combination of symbols and the places where they landed. The Shona have a similar system using flat bones marked on two sides with carved symbols. The "dice" are thrown before any venture or journey is taken and the results tell the thrower whether fortune favors the thrower. If an unfavorable result is thrown the business or journey will be delayed for days until the dice show the fortunes have changed.

The Dalai Lama of tibet regularly uses the MO, or tibetan dice divination to assist in making decisions. Extensive writings by previous lamas assist him in interpreting these rolls. The "dice" used by the tibetans consist of balls of dough with various possible decisions written on slips of paper placed inside.

The most accepted modern method of astraglomancy is done with 2 regular dice. First one draws a circle roughly 12 inches in diameter on a white piece of cloth and divide the circle into 12 equal sections. Each segment in between the lines is numbered with the first starting as 12 at the top, to the right of the 12 o clock position, and working your way clockwise around the cloth to 1. Then two dice are placed in a cup and rolled onto the cloth by the querent. Many practitioners of cleromancy, or 2 dice rolling, say the throw should be done with the left hand, whereas gypsies practicing the same method will have the roller use the right. The position of the dice on the cloth effects the results, and if a die rolls off the cloth the result of that die is ignored. If both dice roll off the cloth a second throw can be attempted, but if that throw results in both dice again failing to stay on the cloth then the attempt is over as a third roll can mean bad fortune for the roller.

Here is the simplest form of cleromancy I could find information about. First draw a circle 12 inches in diameter on a white cloth or paper. Lay the cloth on a flat surface and holding 2 everyday dice concentrate on your question. This method will work best with yes or no questions. Toss the dice onto the circle and, if both dice land within the circle add the results and consult the chart below. If one die falls outside the circle ignore that die and use only the number on the one still inside the circle. If both dice land outside the circle you can attempt a second roll, but if the second roll results in the same result no third roll should be attempted, the dice will not answer your question this day.

This is a nice simple method of quick divination that can be done anywhere with a pair of dice and a round white cloth. This can also be done with three dice with a greater range of answers.  Lists of answers can be found at Psychic Revelation and Magick7.

Well that's my post on dice divination. Thanks for sharing your time with me and I'm sure Stacy will be back with more interesting posts next time. Thanks all, Sean.


  1. Great post Sean. You have a writer hidden within somehwere. Gord

  2. Heh. I keep telling him. He says thanks!